From Ad Hoc To Agile @ Avega Elevate (2011)

So, yesterday we had an Elevate at Avega, where we discussed moving organizations from using ad hoc processes to Agile ones, using the fishbowl format. We were fortunate enough to have Håkan Forss with us, who contributed greatly! Thanks for coming down from Stockholm J

Although, the fishbowl format doesn’t necessarily produce amazingly quantitative results, it is excellent as a form of sharing knowledge and thoughts. The value of this kind of discussion is still great, and for me just raising the question and having a bunch of experienced consultants looking at it, is very important.

I think we concretized a few things though. We talked about what Agile methods can bring to the table for any organization or project. We talked about what impediments exist in ad hoc organizations that must be managed when trying to reform. Finally, we talked more in depth of how to actually accomplish this.

We agreed that Agile methods have a greater chance of avoiding building products or product features that no one uses (the 45% unused rule). Agile can give individuals and teams more freedom to act, giving a morale boost and possibly knowledge and responsibility expansion. One of the biggest impediments is an organizational lack of faith in Agile methods, i.e. there is a problem in providing method creditability to managers and teams. Does the new method really work? Do we benefit? Where are the results? Old organizational hierarchies and practices also exist; we fear what we don’t know and even though we logically could see a new method being superior, we cling on to the old ways. Certain people have strongly cemented roles, and can have a high resistance towards change.

Finally, we talked a lot about the merit in moving toward an Agile approach with an iterative mindset. Using an Agile change backlog and introducing small experiments such as letting the DBA help the developers to write scripts during one sprint and then evaluate the results, are examples of such an approach. You cannot create a cookbook recipe however, and you must look at the organization, its needs and its goals to be able to choose the right Agile method and way of reforming.

This was just a brief summary; there were many other good ideas and conclusions. The only way not to miss out is to come and join us! Next time, we will learn how to benefit from social media, invite yourself here: [] (that was 2011, this is a re-post).

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